What is a Catamaran Sailboat? – The Ultimate Catamaran Guide
I have spent many years sailing and enjoying my time out on the water in various types of boats, but I have returned to the catamaran again and again. The catamaran sailboat is a favorite of mine, but I have found that not everyone is familiar with this type of vessel.
What is a Catamaran ?
The question I’m asked the most by novice sailors, or people who have never been on a boat is, what is a Catamaran sailboat?
A catamaran is a sailboat with two hulls making up the body of the ship instead of a more classic monohull design.
The double hull is preferred by most recreational sailors for cruising due to their easy to operate design and impressive performance on the water.
The catamaran was originally a Polynesian design dating back centuries, but was adopted by European visitors and altered over time to the modern sailboat that can be seen today.
Catamarans come in varying sizes and levels of power depending on the boat’s purpose. The most common catamaran is the sailing catamaran used by sailors like myself.
Why Catamarans Are So Popular
I can’t speak for everybody, but I like catamarans because it is so easy to control, it’s powerful, and there is plenty of living and storage space.
As an experienced sailor, I appreciate a boat that doesn’t require a lot of effort to operate. This is especially helpful for sailors new to the hobby.
Cats are also powerful without being speedboats, which is another positive for new sailors. Perhaps the biggest draw is the amount of space a cat provides its passengers.
I can’t say I have ever felt crowded or cramped aboard a catamaran.
Reasons to Sail with a Catamaran
Sailing a cat is a purely personal experience. As I’ve become a seasoned sailor through the years, and devoted a lot of that time to learning my way around a cat, I can confidently say that there are many reasons a catamaran is a better choice than other sailboat options.
I’ve narrowed down the reasons to 5 of the strongest points that will make up your mind to go out and charter a cat today.
The space provided above and below deck on a cat is far more than on a monohull sailboat. This space allows passengers room to move, lounge, and have some privacy.
Storage is another advantage for a cat. Often storage has been a problem on a boat, but catamarans often have room to spare, so you don’t have to worry about making the choice of leaving something behind you would like to bring.
A cat can stand up to bad weather and choppy seas as well as boats twice its size. Catamarans also do very well windward, which is often an issue for smaller sailboats. Most sailors, myself included, find the catamaran a better vessel in poor weather conditions than other sailboats.
A smooth sail is not always possible if the weather is not cooperating, but, in a catamaran, even some of the worst weather barely affects how the boat feels. It is rare to be tossed about on a catamaran while other sailboats shift endlessly in even low winds.
As I’ve stated before, catamarans are designed to be easily operated and controlled.
Sailing Catamarans aren’t meant to be raced, but they could probably hold their own if it came down to it. If you want to open her up and set off at a good rate of speed, a cat can easily get the job done.
Catamaran vs. Monohull
Simply put, a catamaran makes up for every area a monohull is lacking. Cats have more space, better stability, and are more powerful.
Monohulls tend to be of an older design that can no longer match modern multihull sailboats. Some sailors are sticklers for a monohull, but anyone who has sailed a cat has been converted.
My recommendation for sailors looking for a reliable, spacious charter is to find a catamaran and book it today! Don’t miss out on the experience of a lifetime!
Have you been sailing on a catamaran? Maybe you would like to share your own experience? Please feel free to leave a comment below